Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, XI

Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, XI

By Ray Hill Malcolm Rice Patterson, the “gamecock” of Tennessee politics, had left the governor’s mansion in 1911 as a hugely controversial figure and bitterly hated by many inside his own party. To make matters worse, a combine of “fusionists,” Democrats opposed to Patterson and Republicans, had elected Ben W. Hooper governor in the 1910 […]

Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, X

Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, X

By Ray Hill Malcolm Rice Patterson enjoyed a meteoric rise in Tennessee politics until the consequences of his own actions ended his career.  Redheaded, thin, with angular features, Malcolm Patterson was known throughout Tennessee as a dynamic and gifted speaker.  There were those of his admirers who thought Patterson was one of the greatest orators […]

Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, IX

Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, IX

By Ray Hill James Beriah Frazier had been elected governor of Tennessee in 1902.  A tall, stately man with an elegant appearance, James B. Frazier certainly looked the part of a governor.  Despite his aristocratic appearance, James B. Frazier had worked his way through law school.  The future governor taught school for two years and […]

Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, VIII

Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, VIII

By Ray Hill Benton McMillin was such a fixture in Tennessee politics he was regarded as the “Old Warhorse” of the Democratic Party in the state.  After spending twenty years in Congress from Tennessee’s Fourth District, Benton McMillin twice served as governor of Tennessee.  Yet the pinnacle of McMillin’s political ambition was to win election […]

Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, V

Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, V

By Ray Hill William Gannaway “Parson” Brownlow had been elected governor of Tennessee in 1865, taking the oath of office four days before General Robert E. Lee tendered his surrender to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox. Governor Brownlow was engaged in a heated reelection campaign against former congressman Emerson Etheridge. The Parson had pledged vengeance […]

Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, IV

Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, IV

By Ray Hill William Gannaway Brownlow, better known to Tennesseans as “Parson” Brownlow, was another Volunteer State governor who made it to the United States Senate. Brownlow was as colorful a character, perhaps even more so, than his predecessor, Andrew Johnson. By trade, Brownlow was a journalist, minister of the cloth, and politician. Orphaned at […]